A new church building was consecrated and dedicated to the names of Saints Philip and James at Sigana Island, Riusapa District on the 30th April 2015 by Rt. Rev- Richard Naramana, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Isabel.
The consecration and opening of the new church building coincides with a celebration the next day 1st May 2015 with a holy mass, feasting and custom dancing marking the church’s festival day of their patron Saints Philip and James.
The significance of the whole celebrations was that it coincides with the confirmation class of young boys and girls of Sigana Island by the Bishop into the order of the Holy Communion in the Anglican Church.
Andalso Rt. Rev- Bishop Richard Naramana’s farewell visit to Riusapa District, a district within the Anglican Diocese of Isabel, as he is now preparing for his retirement as Diocesan Bishop of Isabel later on this year.
A lot of people from as far as Guadalcanal, Gela, Buala and the surrounding villages with in Gao Bugotu constituency attended the occasion.
In a speech during the occasion, the chairman of the organizing committee, Charles Dikahehe said, “the new church building was a great achievement indeed for Sigana community”.
He described it as “a result of their good vision, spirit of cooperation, great planning and dedicated efforts from the Island community to raise and contribute money, materials and to give their time and talents to make this great achievement a dream come true for them”.
Dikahehe congratulated the people of Sigana for coming a long way to complete their new and magnificent church building which took them 15 years to complete.
He added that “with the completion and consecration of the new church building, their community and people of Sigana Island were very happy and proud about the great achievement and so have every reason to celebrate the day”.
He reminded his people of Sigana that “their aims and vision to build the new church building could only be fulfilled and beneficial to them if they could put it to a good and proper use.
He said the church building should be a house of prayer and the centre of their religious programmes and activities for their spiritual growth.
Dikahehe said that “the provision ofa more spacious church building should enable their various church ministerial groups to carry out their respective programs and activities more effectively and successfully.
But he stressed that a teaching component needs to be included in these programs and activities.
He said that as people of Isabel are predominantly Anglicans, it is more important that young people of the community must be taught about the Anglican faith, traditions and practices in order to grow up with Christian values and moral characters and to become better and useful citizens of this country.
He urged that the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) to include and emphasize more teachings into its mission programmes in which he hope that by having the new church building, more of such teachings will be done for the people.
Dikahehe also stressed that the new church building must be fully utilised with such programs and activities of the church, otherwise the people of Sigana Island would end up having a “white elephant” just to decorate the island and only to provide beacon and a light house for ships during dark nights and stormy weathers to find their direction to the Island.
But rather, he said that “our new church building should be used as our spiritual beacon and a light house to find safe and right direction to Christ and God even during the stormy and dull days of our lives”.
CHARLES F. LEMOA
Stringer, Isabel Province